By Dale Gribow
Last weekend’s winds were some of the worst I can remember in our area. Drivers had hard time staying in their lanes and making unsafe turns as the winds impaired their vision. The winds are just as dangerous as talking on the phone or reading emails/ Facebook. On top of this, April is “National Distracted Driving Awareness” month and the focus is on distracted drivers. Next week will be Coachella’s distracted drivers causing distracted driving traffic issues.
There are many ways to become distracted and have the police focus on you. It could be your erratic driving, last weekend’s Palm Desert checkpoints, or Coachella. Any of these may be enough probable cause for police to stop you and investigate. If they smell alcohol or witness an accident….well you know the rest of the story!
On my legal talk show I started off each episode saying “People Don’t Plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan.” If you understand and remember what I am writing herein you will be Planning Ahead. If stopped for a possible DUI remember that the (FST) Field Sobriety and Breath Tests at the scene are OPTIONAL. Politely tell the officer that you are will to do anything that is mandatory and will happily take a Blood test. A Blood test will require a professional blood draw and since it takes a while to get the results you will be in custody for several hours.
The following is a step by step summary of what will happen with a DUI:
A DUI is a criminal offense that has two separate legal proceedings… the Court and DMV:
Booking and Custody: The officer will snatch your CDL, under the Stop and Snatch Law and give you a pink DMV temporary license valid for 30 days. At the station you must take another chemical test<http://www.southbaydui.com/Los_Angeles_DUI_Defense/Breath_and_Blood_Tests.aspx> (breath/blood) to determine your Blood Alcohol Content and you will be fingerprinted and photographed. You will be released after about 4 hours.
Schedule a DMV Hearing Within 10 days. If you wait 11 days to call DMV you are too late. Thus your license will be gone for 4-5 months and you will given a Temporary License after the 30 days. Your attorney requests a DMV hearing and asks for a stay. You will get a new temporary license that will be good until the DMV results.
Retain a LOCAL Attorney for your Accident or DUI.
DMV Hearing: Your lawyer presents evidence and subpoenas witnesses, including the arresting officer. Your attorney can advocate for your license and driving privileges on your behalf, and the DMV will then rule on whether or not the officer had reasonable cause to take your license. The DMV hearing is stacked against the driver as the hearing officer is both the prosecutor and judge. However it gives you and your attorney a free glimpse of the case and the evidence against the driver. The hearing is taped and in court, if the officer testifies differently, you can impeach him/her. We have a case now where the deputy testified two different ways and the DA’s knew that WE had a copy of the DMV tape we would play in front of the jury. My client was very happy with the results.
Arraignment: You, or your attorney, pleads guilty or not guilty.
Plea Bargains and Pretrial Motions: After the arraignment your attorney talks to the DA and possibly negotiates a plea bargain or sets the case for Motions to Dismiss, Motions to Suppress Evidence and or for a Pre Trial or Trial.
Trial: Evidence is presented, wits crossed and the jury decides guilt.
Sentencing: The court sentences after a plea bargain or conviction. The penalties will differ based on the circumstances of your case, but could include fines, jail time or home arrest with an ankle bracelet, community service, and alcohol education.
I look upon my job as protecting the Constitutional Rights of every American who drinks and drives and gets arrested for a DUI.
I do however “Change Hats” when I SUE Drunk Drivers for damages to my Injured or Deceased (Wrongful Death) clients.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI, LYFT OR UBER………THEY ARE A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME … LAW ENFORCEMENT WARNS “DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER
If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow 760-837-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life (DUI/ACCIDENTS) 2011-2017
“TOP LAWYER”-Inland Empire Magazine Nov, 2016
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